Published: Sep 05, 2012 10:20 AM EDT

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A 71-year-old central Florida woman will spend a year on probation after pleading guilty to child abuse charges for beating and biting a student on a Lakeland school bus.
    
Hattie Yvonne Branch accepted the plea deal Tuesday rather than going to trial. She faced a third-degree felony which carried a maximum five-year prison sentence.
    
The Ledger of Lakeland (http://bit.ly/Q07bnU ) reports Branch was arrested last year after authorities reviewed video footage of the school bus incident.
    
Reports indicate the teen tossed a 5-year-old boy over a bus seat and the child's feet struck Branch. That's when authorities say Branch pulled the teen's hair, hit him, bit his back twice and put him in a wresting hold.
    
Branch told authorities she was defending herself because the teen had bullied and threatened her.
    
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Information from: The Ledger, http://www.theledger.com

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